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Posts with tag Valeera-Sanguinar

Hearthstone heroes ranked not by power, but by lore

Hearthstone news site Liquidhearth posted a pretty interesting rank list yesterday. The site primarily focuses on the game-related side of Hearthstone -- arenas, deck builds, card abilities and the like -- however, this particular article looks at not the individual cards, but the heroes featured on Hearthstone's nine available decks. The list is laid out and ranked not by the relative power of the class deck, but by the place they stand in Warcraft lore.

Each hero is given a brief descriptive summary detailing their place in Warcraft's history, and each rank is justified by one of three panelists quizzed for the column. What makes it interesting is that from a Hearthstone standpoint, the order isn't really quite where I think it should be. Mage decks, for example, are absolutely devastating if they get the right cards -- and I've had my cards thrown right back at me by more than one incredibly clever set of combos from a priest deck. The rogue deck is particularly devastating when used correctly as well.

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Filed under: Lore, Hearthstone Insider

Hands-on with Hearthstone

I possess no background in card games, whether it be TCG or CCG. I intentionally avoided scouring databases and watching the Fireside Duels specifically so I could go into my first Hearthstone play session with that perspective. There's value in that perspective: most people who play the game for the first time will have the same experience. My lack of knowledge did make me quite nervous when I sat down to play Hearthstone, though. Would I waste my entire playtest session (on-site at Blizzard Entertainment) blundering through, simply trying to learn the rules? As it turns out, yes. That's exactly what happened.

We were only able to play for about an hour, so don't take my confusion for the duration as a condemnation of the game. Rare is the strategy-based game that can teach you all of its intricacies in an hour. By the end of that hour, however, I had a grasp of the basics and understood most of the terminology. It didn't click fast enough for me to attempt much experimentation with my deck or playstyle, but simply playing put me on the right track. I felt truly lost when I first sat down, but grew more comfortable with every turn. I'm told Hearthstone does have a tutorial to guide you through that initial learning phase, but it wasn't included in our playtest. With an estimated 45 minute duration, the tutorial would have consumed nearly our entire hour. Blundering through turned out to be just as effective.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition: The Durotarian Candidate

Know Your Lore, Tinfoil Hat Edition The Durotarian Candidate WedAs Needed
The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

This one's all speculation, guys, and what's more, it's arrant speculation, too. This one takes the Tinfoil Hat and welds it on: not only is nothing in this essay established canon, even I don't think it's remotely likely. But when has that ever stopped us?

With the arrival of patch 5.3, Alliance players have noticed a bit of a disconnect. Why are we in the barrerns, they ask, instead of attacking the Horde elsewhere and reclaiming some lost territory while it's distracted with the rebellion? Others wonder why we're working with Vol'jin at all, instead of just letting the Horde fight amongst each other until there's an exhausted winner at the top and attacking him... or perhaps her, depending on how it all shakes out.

Still others find King Varian's sudden (to them, anyway) gear switch from raging, barely in control ball of rage to this singleminded, purposeful character who is uniting the Alliance behind him strange and unusual. Why is Varian suddenly counseling caution to Tyrande and refusing to make use of an obviously powerful weapon like the Sha? Why is Varian content to let Jaina take the lead against the Thunder King, and why did he acquiesce to the player and SI:7's plan to support Vol'jin's rebellion?

For a completely made up answer to these questions, let's look at Lo'Gosh, the gladiator. But first, let's look at Croc-Bait.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Know your Lore, Mists of Pandaria

Know Your Lore: Med'an, Cho'gall and the Prophecy

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how, but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

WARNING:
The following post contains spoilers for World of Warcraft: The Comic. Players who are currently reading through the comics or simply wish to avoid spoilers from the series should avoid this post.

We're taking a step back from Alliance politics this week in light of some new information from the 3.3.5 PTR. The servers have been laggy and somewhat unstable, but I've still been able to log on and play through a few things. One of those things is an interesting new quest chain available in Orgrimmar involving Doomsday Cultists who are suddenly making appearances in the Drag and talking about the end of the world as we know it.

The biggest thing that sparked my interest was mention of Cho'gall. Matthew Rossi did an excellent write-up of the Twilight's Hammer and their leader Cho'gall, but what struck my interest was that Cho'gall's presence in game may lead to more interplay between story lines from the Warcraft comic series and World of Warcraft itself. However, while I made the connection readily enough, there are plenty out there who haven't read the comics and have no idea who Cho'gall, Med'an or any of the other characters I've referenced in previous posts actually are.

In light of this, today we're going to be talking about the last half of the Warcraft comics series -- what happened in them, who was introduced, who died, what happened with Cho'gall, why Silithus was suddenly relevant again, and most of all, who the heck that Med'an kid is that I've been going on about. As I will be talking about these things in detail, this post is absolutely brim full of spoilers for the comics series; readers who are interested in picking up the comics and reading through them may want to veer away from this post.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

Patch 3.2: Enter Trag Highmountain


When I'm not playing WoW, I'm usually found indulging in manga and have been devouring the Warcraft series ever since the Sunwell Trilogy came out. Of all the characters introduced through comics and manga, the most tragic next to Anveena has to be Trag Highmountain. I've watched over the last year as more characters from the print franchises began to appear in-game, and there's something about seeing them translated into the game which gives me an amazing thrill.

We've met Anveena and her soul mate Kalec, Tyri and Jorad as well as Broll and that Blood Elf chick whose always hanging around Varian, so I've often wondered when Trag would turn up. It's inevitable given how his quest to Icecrown is in keeping with Wrath of the Lich King. Imagine my surprise when I logged on to the PTR for the first time this morning to find one Tauren Death Knight standing guard over one of the incapacitated forms of one of the Coliseum bosses.

Yes, it's our old friend Trag, now a level 80 NPC. While seeming hostile, he makes no move to attack the Alliance or speak, he just seems to stand near Gormok the Impaler. I'm sure he'll get some lines by the time Patch 3.2 goes live though. Having not yet read Warcraft: Legends' final volume, I'm curious to find out what happened to him but it's nice to know he's finally free of the Lich King's thrall.

Filed under: Patches, Odds and ends, News items, Lore, NPCs, Comics

Breakfast Topic: What would you like to see in a WoW comic?


I've been getting back into comics lately, thanks largely to the World of Warcraft. My most recent purchases were the trade paperbacks of Wildstorm's World of Warcraft series and Ashbringer, as well as Tokyopop's Warcraft Legends manga. Since I couldn't get my fix of Hong Kong manhua without actually going to Hong Kong (which makes it kind of hard to keep up with weekly titles like Amazing Weapons 4...), it was a bit easier to head over to our local shops and get some Western comics. What better subject than my favorite game, right?

While I enjoyed Ashbringer, I take a great liking to Warcraft Legends because it explores the other aspects or characters of Azeroth. The ongoing series can focus on well-known guys like Varian Wrynn, but Warcraft Legends are cool side-stories of the unknown guys. That opens up a world of potential. We could see stories about those NPCs we always see all over the place. Maybe we can get a comic about Cro Threadstrong and find out why he hates the fruit vendor so much. How about stories about the wandering "named" NPCs in Dalaran? Minigob Manabonk, maybe?

On the flip side, how about when the characters in the comic stories suddenly make their way into the game? We know Broll Bearmantle and Valeera Sanguinar have their roots in toys and comics, and players can now meet them in WoW. This whole idea of comics as an extension of the game's story is really cool, and I hope Wildstorm and Tokyopop keep putting out great comics and characters. Is there anything in particular about the World of Warcraft that you'd like to see in comic form? A favorite character? A particular period or special event? Share your thoughts!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Lore, Comics

Sneak peek at World of Warcraft comic issue 16

The official WoW website has put up a preview for issue 16 of the World of Warcraft comic. I have to say, this one doesn't look nearly as facepalm inducing as the last few. In fact, aside from a few art oddities (did Valeera just trip up there?), it looks like a pretty good start for this arc.

It looks like this arc is not only focused on Garona's half human, quarter orc, quarter draenei son, but a few other things, too. It looks like this arc will focus somewhat on Fandral Staghelm and the state of Teldrassil, what's happened to Ahn'qiraj since we were there last and potentially the relationship between King Varian and Valeera. To avoid spoilers, I'll stick a few more things behind the cut below.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Lore, Comics

All the World's a Stage: So you want to be a Horde Rogue

This installment of All the World's a Stage is the twenty-third in a series of roleplaying guides in which we find out all the background information you need to roleplay a particular race or class well, without embarrassing yourself.

Any class needs its role models. Rogues don't have all that many great heroes from lore, but the ones they do have stand out, especially for the prominence of women in this class.

Garona Halforcen is probably the most famous of rogue protagonists, one of the main characters of the original Warcraft I storyline that launched the whole Warcraft series. She's been strangely missing ever since the end of the First War, actually, but it seems that she is finally making her comeback to the story in the World of Warcraft Comic Book. Her full story is best left for others to tell (such as the immensely talented Elizabeth Wachowski, or the mysterious collective mind known as WoWWiki), but for now, suffice it to say that she represents a lot of what makes rogues who and what they are. Here's a few reasons why:
  • She's incredibly cool.
  • She doesn't talk about how incredibly cool she is.
  • She has conflicted loyalties, neither all good nor all bad.
  • There's so much we don't know about her, and so much we want to discover.
  • She's something of a lone wolf, extremely independent and active.
  • Her skill with words was just as important as her skill with weapons.
  • She has a great wealth of complicated emotions and ideas that drive her deeper into the story.

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Filed under: Horde, Orcs, Tauren, Undead, Trolls, Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blood Elves, Lore, Guides, RP, Classes, All the World's a Stage (Roleplaying)

Preview of World of Warcraft comic issue 15


Yesterday we mentioned that Garona Halforcen, strangely popular assassin from the earlier RTS games, would be making her comeback in the World of Warcraft comic series. WorldofWar.net first reported that issue 18 would be the first reappearance of Garona, but a preview of issue 15 on the official website shows that it's going to start up a bit earlier than that.

The preview reveals that when Garona (who has the same tailor as Valeera Sanguinar apparently) killed King Llane, she was actually pregnant. When she 'disappeared' from the overall Warcraft story, she handed off her child to the Undead Mage/Warlock/Necromancer Meryl for safekeeping since she couldn't trust herself while she went to deal with her inner demons. It's interesting to note that this Undead Necromancer isn't actually a member of the Forsaken, so that Forsaken Warlock action figure you may have purchased awhile back isn't a Forsaken at all. He predates Ner'zhul by quite a bit, and the comic describes him as being undead via his own will and sorcery. He should prove to be a pretty neat character.

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Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Lore, Comics

The whereabouts of Varian Wrynn

If you've been reading the World of Warcraft comic book written by Walt Simonson, you've gotten to know the fellow over there as Lo'Gosh. An amnesiac washed up on the shores of Durotar, he's moved from mysterious gladiator to escapee from Thunder Bluff to helping cleanse an ancient idol of fel energies and is now revealed to be the one, the only Varian Wrynn himself. Currently, in the comic, he's doing heroic things like bisecting naga, breaking fear to decapitate a blood elf warlock, (it's official, Varian Wrynn is definitely a warrior... how interesting that his arena comp is a warrior, druid and rogue. You don't see many of those) and other suitable acts of badassery.

If you're wondering how it all works out, then continue to read beyond that dread chasm... make the jump, if you will... and you'll find out where Varian Wrynn is now.

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Filed under: Druid, Rogue, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King

Toying around with Valeera Sanguinar


I love toys. And because I play The World of Warcraft, I specially love the action figures that DC Direct has been churning out. The Series 2 action figures have just been recently released and I'm looking forward to picking up a couple when they finally hit our shores. The great thing about the action figures is that they actually tie in to lore, making appearances in the Chris Metzen-approved and supposedly canon WoW comic books.

Out of all the comic book characters and available action figures, I've taken quite a liking to the spunky Valeera Sanguinar. Sure, it's weird that she fights in the Arenas alongside a Night Elf Druid and the thinly-disguised Human Varian Wrynn, but she's pretty cool despite being stuck in outdated Bloodfang Armor. I picked up the action figure some time back, and even though I have a few quibbles about the toy, I'm looking forward to getting more, particularly Vindicator Marrad and his Hammer of the Naaru. My thoughts on the action figure and close-ups of Valeera Sanguinar in the gallery.

Filed under: Rogue, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Comics

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